The VA Is Now Offering Walk-In Vaccinations Nationwide

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Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough appears during a press briefing at the White House, Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

All Department of Veterans Affairs facilities that administer coronavirus vaccines are accepting walk-ins for all veterans, spouses and caregivers, regardless of whether they otherwise qualify for VA care, the agency announced Monday.

"VA encourages those who wish to get their COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment to check the walk-in hours and requirements at their local facility," Acting VA Under Secretary for Health Richard Stone said in a statement.

However, there may be wait times associated with walk-ins.

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"Individuals taking advantage of walk-in vaccinations may need to wait for the vaccine to be prepared and will be screened when entering the facility," Stone added.

The VA has played a key role in the national effort to vaccinate as many Americans as possible ahead of President Joe Biden's target goal of the country returning to relative normalcy by the 4th of July.

The department had fully vaccinated 2,724,782 people, including 2.4 million veterans, as of Monday morning. There are about 9 million veterans enrolled in VA care, but there are 18 million total U.S. veterans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Biden signed into law the Save Lives Act in late March, expanding the VA's legal authority to vaccinate all veterans, their spouses, caregivers and some beneficiaries regardless of their VA enrollment status. The department credits the new law with 60,000 additional people getting vaccinated.

The VA says masks are mandatory at its facilities, and those seeking vaccines should check their local clinics for their hours of operation.

-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.

Related: Biden on Making COVID Vaccine Mandatory for Troops: 'I'm Going to Leave It to the Military'

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